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NJC`03 - National Junior Championships 2003 Print E-mail
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Championships were held on Sunday 19 October 2003. This was the biggest ever event in the development of cricket in Slovenia, and was sponsored by Harvey Norman. The tournament was held at Športna Dvorana Kodeljevo in Ljubljana between 9am and 1pm, and the format was as follows: Each team played the others in their group once, with the two group winners contesting the Final. Each game was designed to be of very short duration (8 overs a side), with each player bowling just a single over. The guests of honour were the British Ambassador, Mr Hugh Mortimer, the Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana, Mr Slavko Slak, and the General Manager of Harvey Norman, Mr Glen Norman. We were also delighted to see about 100 parents in the stands looking on, and really getting behind their children. It was a truly impressive spectacle. We also welcomed two representatives from our newly-formed sister club in Maribor, who were there to give the event their support.

 

One of the best things about the event was the bowling, especially when you consider that none of the participants had played cricket before this autumn. The Final was very exciting, and resulted in... a tie. Well, no-one had anticipated that when the rules were being drawn up. It was hastily decided to play an additional 4-over game to decide the winners, and Osnovna Šola Martina Krpana, from Fužine in Ljubljana, were duly crowned champions. The unlucky runners-up were Škofja Loka. After the Final, all five schools were donated a full set of cricket equipment, including bats, gloves, pads etc, by Hugh Mortimer, and they will be using that equipment when next year's championships are held outside at Valburga, probably next May. The winning team from Martina Krpana, as well as taking away the trophy, was also awarded 50,000 tolars (just over 200EUR) by Glen Norman for their school. There were further trophies for the bowler and batsman of the tournament, and Harvey Norman vouchers worth 5,000 tolars. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our three special guests for coming, and we would like to record especial thanks to Glen and Hugh for their magnificent generosity. Thanks also to Mark Oman for doing a sterling job in putting the event together.

 

Group A
Group B
Horjul A
Grosuplje
Martina Krpana
Horjul B
Nove Fužine A
Nove Fužine C
Nove Fužine B
Škofja Loka

 

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Action from the National Junior Championships (or Turnir Osnovnih Šol v kriketu 2003, if you prefer). Clockwise from top left; Dogged determination and a good straight bat make for a sound defence (something that has so far escaped the notice of a good number of Ljubljana players, we are sorry to say); Škofja Loka in action attempting to effect a run out in a group game; the joy of success; and photographic evidence that is isn't really that hard to get kids bowling properly, despite what some professionals (who ought to know better) might tell you. And while we're blowing our own trumpets, we'll point out that none of these kids have been playing for more than a couple of months, and that there is not a single qualified cricket coach in Slovenia.

 

Results
Group A
Group B
Martina Krpana beat Nove Fužine A by 18 runs
Nove Fužine C beat Horjul B by 5 wickets
Nove Fužine B beat Horjul A by 5 wickets
Škofja Loka beat Grosuplje by 19 runs
Nove Fužine B beat Nove Fužine A by 1 wicket
Grosuplje beat Nove Fužine C by 1 wicket
Martina Krpana beat Horjul A by 1 wicket
Škofja Loka beat Horjul B by 16 runs
Nove Fužine A beat Horjul A by 12 runs
Škofja Loka beat Nove Fužine C by 3 wickets
Martina Krpana beat Nove Fužine B by 9 runs
Horjul B beat Grosuplje by 2 wickets

 

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The Final: OŠ Martina Krpana beat Škofja Loka by 1 wicket

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The scene: Two games in progress at once; plenty of Club members milling around not doing much.

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Team spirit.

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The joy of success: A wicket falls. The fielding side celebrate, while the unfortunate batsman readies himself for the long walk back to the pavilion.

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A well-populated slip-cordon.

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To think that these kids only took up cricket a few weeks before the day of the Championships. Have a look at this girl swooping on the ball, while the batters hurry through for a quick single. Meanwhile the 'keeper prepares to whip the bails off and appeal for the run out. Remarkable.

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The Final: Eventual winners OŠ Martina Krpana batting against Škofja Loka.

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Look left, look right - Kids with their eyes on the ball.

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A nice stance (left), with a good grip on the bat, leaving the batsman well-positioned (above) to go after a wide one.

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Left: HM Ambassador to Slovenia Mr Hugh Mortimer says "This guy on the karaoke machine behind me is rubbish".

Right: A beaming smile from the Sports' teacher at Horjul Primary School, as he carries away a complete set of cricket equipment for his school, donated by the British Ambassador (looking on).

 
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